Guitarist Henry Vestine Dead at 52
PARIS (AP) - Guitarist Henry Vestine of the rock band Canned Heat, best known for its hit ``Going Up the Country'' and its 1969 performance at Woodstock, has died near Paris. He was 52.

Vestine died on Oct. 20 from heart and respiratory failure in a hotel outside Paris after the band completed a tour of France, said Beth Comstock, a spokeswoman for Tapestry Artists, which represents the group. When other band members went to Vestine's hotel room to pick him up for the flight home, they found him dead, she said. A wake and funeral for Vestine were held Nov. 19 in Eugene, Ore.

Before Vestine died, he asked that his ashes, now buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, eventually be transported to a crater on the dark side of the moon named after his father, a noted astrophysicist.

Born Christmas Day, 1944, Henry ``The Sunflower'' Vestine joined Canned Heat in 1966 after playing in Frank Zappa's band, The Mothers of Invention.

A passionate collector of blues records, Vestine found his artistic home with Canned Heat, an electric boogie band formed in 1965 by blues fanatics Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, a 300-pound singer nicknamed ``The Bear.''

Along with ``Going Up the Country,'' the band's biggest hit was ``On the Road Again'' in 1968. Canned Heat was notable for performing at three of rock 'n' roll's most famous festivals - the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Woodstock in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in England in 1970.

In a 1995 interview, another Canned Heat guitarist, Junior Watson, described Vestine's trademark angry, buzzing guitar sound as ``blues with that kind of obnoxious rock and roll attitude.'' Canned Heat never recovered as a creative unit after Wilson's death from a drug overdose in 1970. After Hite died in 1981, the group ``became nothing more than a name,'' according to the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll.

Vestine briefly left the group in 1969 to perform with jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, and returned in 1970. Members of rock group ZZ Top cited Canned Heat as one of their biggest influences.

Vestine is survived by his teenage son, Jesse, a press release issued by Tapestry Artists in Encino, Calif., said.

Date: 97-11-21 21:53:58 EST
.c The Associated Press

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